CHAPIN, S.C. — Students at the Center for Advanced Technical Studies are selling poinsettias they raised themselves.
This Lexington Richland District 5 school allows students to enroll in classes that will help them better realize their professional potential. They have classes dealing with media, technology, health sciences and much more.
This particular class is Agricultural and Bio-systems Engineering taught by Kevin Sox, "It really focuses on all of the processes that go through agriculture," Sox says of the class, "I utilize the greenhouse to teach plant science and we grow a crop of poinsettias."
The class begins the process in August and then sells them for a week in December. "My kids really enjoy these classes because they're hands on," Sox tells Street Squad, "These kids are really surprised because they've gone through 10 years where they sit in a classroom and they get to go out in a shop or a greenhouse and they get to actually do things with their hands."
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Zach Grey, one of Sox's students says the class is very hands-on, "its very fun and interactive. You get to do wood working, welding and electricity, its a lot of basic needs you need to know for when you own a house and all." As far as the poinsettia care, "its nice to know that you actually grew the plant and people buy them off of you."
"We start off the first week of August," Isaac Knight, another student in the class of all juniors and seniors, tells us, "we get 800 cuttings for the poinsettias, we plant them in the pots and we disperse them around the greenhouse." Knight says they come weekly throughout the semester to maintain the plants, "we'll water them, give them fertilizer and just take care of them."
Once the plants are fully grown, the students sell the potted plants to the community. The plants come in six and a half inches and eight and a half inches complete with a foil decoration and a bow. You can get them in red, pink and white.
"The money goes to the local Lexington Richland 5 FFA (Future Farmer's of America) chapter here at the [Center for Advanced Technical Studies,]) says Tyler Bagley, an officer for the schools FFA chapter, "we use the money to attend competitions, go on field trips and go to state and national conventions as well."
Bagley says it gives them a sense of pride, "we get to work and see other people benefit from it, we also benefit from it but we get to help other people get an interest in it where they otherwise wouldn't."
Sox says he likes to tie in the history lesson of South Carolina native Joel Poinsett's bringing the plant to America, "We have a history with it so for us to be able to grow them and to kind of teach things through growing them."
When arranging the poinsettias, Sox says the student's make a "florist quality poinsettia," providing an excellent product for their customers. "The skills they gain from doing that really impresses a lot of plant shops and impresses florists around here that know me and know what I'm teaching the students," Sox says, "I'm giving them job skills at the same time as teaching plant science. We use this as a learning tool but also as a fundraiser to help our FFA Chapter out and to help our school out."
You can purchase the poinsettias at The Center Greenhouse (916 Mt Vernon Ch. Rd. Chajpin, SC 29036) from December 9 to December 13 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For larger orders, reach out to Kevin Sox by email at email@example.com.
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